Unemployment at its lowest level in more than nine years

Latest CSO numbers suggest State’s jobless rate fell to 6.1 per cent in September.

Unemployment has fallen to a new post-crash low of 6.1 per cent, according to the Central Statistics Office (CSO) - writes irishtimes.com.

The last time unemployment was at this level was in June 2008 just before the State was plunged into a financial crisis.

The latest CSO figures show that the number of workers classified as unemployed fell by 200 to 133,200 in September, which equates to an annual decrease of 31,600.

Having peaked at 15.2 per cent at the height of the crash in 2012, the State’s jobless rate is now three points below the euro-area average of 9.1 per cent.

On current trends, unemployment could fall below 6 per cent this year, which is close to full employment in Ireland.

The Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) has warned the economy runs the risk of overheating at this level of unemployment.

Mariano Mamertino, economist with recrutiment website Indeed, said the CSO numbers provide further evidence of the tighter Irish labour market.

This which makes it all the more important to attract highly qualified immigrants to address skill shortages in the economy, he said.

He said recent CSO data show that 64 per cent of immigrants coming to Ireland have a third-level qualification, while only 44 per cent of those leaving do. “This suggests a welcome ‘brain gain’, as Ireland’s position as one of the fastest growing economies in Europe can attract highly educated candidates for available jobs,” he said.

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